Plastic Free July 2021…The Good News Stories…

Plastic Free July…Be the Change…

Who is going to join me for Plastic Free July…? (Sign up for the challenge here) It’s never too late even though we are in the last week of July…every little helps and there are some great ideas on the website..small changes combined DO make a difference.

Personally, Plastic Free July has been a stepping stone for me and will not stop on the 31st of July…If you have been looking at the figures and watched the video on the biggest garbage dumps around the world I hope that has encouraged you to think about your waste and how you can reduce it I know many of you are already aware but we can all do more…

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”
—Jane Goodall

Whilst I agree we should do more to reduce the plastic we throw away TODAY I am sharing the good news stories…the ones which give me hope..it doesn’t mean however that we should be complacent…

We all buy books and to get that hardcopy in one’s hand is special it could be made all the more special if the cover was plastic-free…

Plastic Free reading…

Plastic Free tells the incredible story of how a simple community initiative grew into one of the worlds most successful environmental movements.

To ensure that traditional plastic lamination wasn’t used, the publishers worked through alternatives and decided on using the reverse side of the coated artboard, so the surface was a bit textured, and used a dry trap varnish for protection. They loved the effect so much they have now used it for other titles.

Normally, the boxes are plastic shrink-wrapped onto the pallet with plastic straps. To get around this the publishers used metal straps instead.

I think this is a huge step forward in many ways…one which we could find so easy do as the buyers of so many books…I am getting my copy, are you?

You can purchase a copy of the book here

I don’t go out partying as much (not) at all at the moment as I used to but the market is huge for the ages of 18-45 and Heineken have stepped up as all manufacturers should do and hopefully will follow suit and will do something about it…

I am particularly showing big business as they have the market to make these changes on a larger scale ALTHOUGH I am not for one minute discounting my own efforts or yours for collectively we can make a difference…it is a combined global problem and we all need to play a part…

Green spaces in cities help offset climate changes and provide physical and mental well-being for their citizens Biodiversity – all living organisms, including plants, animals and microorganisms – is essential for human existence. Yet when we think about biodiversity, we rarely picture a city in our minds.

With this goal in mind, the Global Commission on BiodiverCities by 2030 was launched last month, as part of the BiodiverCities by 2030 initiative. The commission is made up of a diverse group of city experts and practitioners from the public and private sectors, civil society and academia whose passion for and expertise in biodiversity conservation and climate change will steer its objectives to make cities safer, more fulfilling and cleaner places to live.

When I look at some of the designs they seem very futuristic to me and I wonder how they will work given the population of the world..when I see lovely green plants going all the way up a tower block will they look like that all year round I am guessing given how plants change during the seasons that unless thought is given to mixing types of plants they maybe won’t…Just some thoughts…

A mouse believed to have been wiped out 150 years ago has been found alive and well on a remote island in Western Australia. 

Distinguished by its shaggy fur, the Gould’s mouse has been hiding in plain sight for decades: researchers monitoring the rodent thought it was a different species. This week scientists set the record straight. 

The resurrection of the mouse is a rare piece of positive news against a backdrop of population declines. However, it’s not the only cause for celebration down under: in May,

Tasmanian devils bred on mainland Australia for the first time in 3,000 years, delighting conservationists.

The UK launched a trial to suck CO2 from the air

Stabilising the climate means rapidly slashing emissions. However, scientists say sucking historic emissions out of the air is also vital if we are to keep warming to internationally agreed levels. 

A £30m project to do just that was announced in the UK this week. As part of the trial, scientists will test the most effective ways of drawing climate-heating carbon out of the air, including planting trees, re-wetting peatlands and spreading rock chips that absorb CO2 on farmland. It will be one of the world’s biggest carbon capture projects. 

“Greenhouse gas removal is not only essential, but it also has the potential to become big business,” said Prof Cameron Hepburn, from the University of Oxford, who is coordinating the trials. “As we rebuild societies and economies following Covid-19, we have an opportunity to orient ourselves towards the green jobs and industries of the future.”

There are lots of good things going on around the world…Hopefully with what we do on an individual basis and what governments and manufacturers do it will be enough…

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
—Margaret Mead

Thank you for popping in It’s lovely to see you and read your comments… see you tomorrow for my A-Z where the middle letter this week is the letter K…Anyone for Chicken Tikka?…

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – July 18th – 24th 2021 – The Three Degrees, Podcast Round Up, Relationships, Interviews, Reviews and Funnies.

With good weather continuing in Ireland, Sally has been able to sit out in the evenings which is lovely ..Sally has published another new book so please over as she has had some great reviews there are also lots of other goodies music, laughter, book reviews for you to peruse at your leisure#recommended read.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/07/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-weekly-round-up-july-18th-24th-2021-the-three-degrees-podcast-round-up-relationships-interviews-reviews-and-funnies/

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…July18th-24th July 2021…#Plastic Free July, Music, Gingerbread Fruit Tree …

Plastic Free July, Be the Change, Music, Environment A-Z, Whitstable Bay Oysters and Gingerbread Fruit Tree.

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed a few posts during this last week…Time is marching on…It is now officially rainy season here so there will definitely be some dancing in the rain…

July…for my English family and readers it is wall to wall sunshine…enjoy while it lasts…tomorrow 25th of July is St. James Day he is the Patron Saint of Pilgrims and St. Christophers Day who is the patron Saint of Travellers also Whitstable Bay Oyster Festival from 27th-30th July…next weeks Saturday Snippets will be on the 31st and then the following day we will be in August…

Whitstable Bay Oysters…Some History…

Whitstable Bay Oysters go back in history to the Romans who it is said absolutely loved this defined the history of the town oysters where nearly the entire population was involved in the oyster business.

The Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company whose company history began when The Company of Free Fishers and Dredgers of Whitstable was formed in 1793, becoming the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company in 1895. This company still owns the beds on which our oysters are now produced. The plaque commemorating the firm’s establishment can be seen on the Royal Native Oyster Stores Building, which now houses the renowned Whitstable Oyster Company Fishery restaurant.

The first post last week was…Plastic Free July 2021…Takeaway Food Containers…

Did you know?

The yearly production of plastic stands at more than 380 million tonnes globally. To put that into perspective, we’re talking about the same weight as 2,700,000 blue whales!

Of that huge amount, only 16% is recycled to make new plastics. Some 40% is sent to landfill, 25% is incinerated, and the other 16% is, to be frank about it, dumped…

Plastic Free July 2021…Takeaway Food Containers…

Chicken Pox and Shingles...As children begin school for the first time or return after the long summer break, there is likely to be an outbreak of one of the common childhood infections including chickenpox.

A very contagious childhood disease that can be dangerous for babies and someone like me…generally at my age it manifests as shingles which I haven’t had but I know first-hand some who have and it is not nice…painful and debilitating…Please head over to Smorgasbord as Sally has some good advice on how we can boost our immune systems..and what common sense actions we can take to avoid getting contaminated.#recommended read

Smorgasbord Health Column – Family Health – Chicken Pox and Shingles- The lurking opportunists by Sally Cronin

Wednesday…I was back on my soapbox again with my A-Z of the Environment…

It was the letter L…Landfill, Latex and Lead…I don’t need to tell you how incensed I was to discover that not only is Lead STILL found in leading baby food brands but also Cadium and Mercury…If you buy baby food or know someone who does please think about those precious little brains as very little lead ingested has a detrimental effect…Please alert them.

The Environmental A-Z…the letter L…

This took me nicely into Thursdays post…How easy it is to make your own baby food at home…no special ingredients required you can even use some of your home-cooked food if it is suitable and puree it for the baby just be aware of salt and sugar levels…

In my Kitchen…Starting at the beginning…Feeding Baby…

Tropical Friday’s…The Gingerbread Fruit Tree…

Yes, there really is a fruit that tastes like Gingerbread…kids love it…it makes a lovely refreshing cold drink and has numerous health benefits…

It is the fruit of the Doum Palm which grows in hot arid climates where not much else grows…

Tropical Friday…The Gingerbread Fruit Tree…Doum Palm …

Saturday Snippets…Potluck…

Potluck…Some of you grew up with potluck parties or family gatherings..others of us if we asked what was for dinner were given the answer Potluck…someone mentioned the dishes could be awesome or best avoided…HOWEVER…I have extended an invitation to one and all to join me once a month for a virtual potluck where you can showcase your blog and a recipe…even if you can only cook one dish you are welcome …send me an acceptance in comments or on my contact me page…They will be themed which included all diets, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and carnivores…something for everyone…I will provide the main course unless anyone else has a dying need to do so in the form of a recipe they love…I am easy and the plus side is there is no washing up and dirty plates…

Saturday Snippets… 24th July 2021…Potluck and an Invitation…

Thank you so much for dropping by I always look forward to your visits and comments…Hope to see you here next week xx

Saturday Snippets… 24th July 2021…Potluck and an Invitation…

 

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where I indulge my whimsy and my passions… maybe a tune or two…something which has caught my eye this last week…just anything out of the ordinary or extraordinary…

For the last few weeks, I have taken inspiration from something I have read or watched… this week and also because it just happens that where I live because of the increase in the cases of Covid…we are a red zone…back to curfews etc etc…

Over the past 18 months like many others, we have been isolated and our movements restricted…therefore I have decided my word this week will be Potluck…

Why Potluck?… Well, like many of us I miss the social side of life so I thought why not a virtual Potluck once a month it will give my guests the chance to promote their blog and a recipe…I was also curious as to what else Potluck came up with and proceeded to do my A-Z research on the word “Potluck”

Come with me and see what I discovered…

Alaska Potluck:

You can’t buy moose, or caribou in Alaska. Alaska law forbids the selling of game. Thus, when you want to eat it you have to host a potluck. It is pretty much guaranteed that someone will bring a dish of moose or caribou stew or even a raw piece for the grill. Alternatively, you may trade your garden’s or fishing bounty with some game from your hunting friends.

Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party is an American variety show starring Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg. The series premiered on VH1 on November 7, 2016…who knew…I certainly didn’t!

Is this show a favourite of yours?… It sounds like fun…

Where did Potluck originate from…?

The word pot-luck appears in the 16th-century English work of Thomas Nashe, and used to mean “food provided for an unexpected or uninvited guest, the luck of the pot.” The modern execution of a “communal meal, where guests bring their own food,” most likely originated in the 1930s during the Depression.

Potluck was not something I experienced until I came here to live…

Potluck Paris:

High-end Parisian jewellery…That sounds expensive to me…

Pot Luck…The Series…again centres around a dinner party which was what most of my findings were with word…PotLuck however I still learnt a few things I didn’t know.

A new one on me…Potluck does appear to be more of an American tradition…

Music…I found a few some rapping I would rather not share …a string band of sorts which was not for me…I decided on this one, not my musical genre but I leave it to you to decide…best of a bad bunch…

Well, he certainly has a good pair of lungs…and he wasn’t even out of breathe…

That’s it for the word Potluck…I’m sure the food will be much better…If you are interested in joining me once a month then drop me a message on Contact me …for details on joining me at the table of my new monthly Potluck Dinner Party…of course, it goes without saying that it will be a virtual one…each month there will be a theme just to make things fun…

There will be a BBQ potluck, for meat-eaters and Vegetarians, A Chinese themed Potluck, Indian themed Potluck, a cheese potluck it doesn’t matter if you only have one dish you cook in your culinary repertoire you will be welcome at my table… Let’s have some fun and promote our blogs and recipes…Join me x

Thank you for popping in today I hope you enjoyed “Potluck” see you tomorrow for my weekly roundup…I hope you have a great weekend…xx

 

 

 

Tropical Friday…The Gingerbread Fruit Tree…Doum Palm …

The Ginger Bread Fruit comes from the Doum Palm…These trees grow in hot, dry regions where little else grows. It is native to the Arabian Peninsula and also to the northern half and western part of Africa.

All parts of the tree are used although the leaves are the most important part…used to make mats, coarse textiles, brooms, ropes, string, and a thatch roof.

The timber is used for posts, poles, furniture, fuel and to make beehives.

The fruit is edible..the thin brown rind is used to make molasses, added to cakes and sweetmeats…the unripe kernel is also edible and the germinated seeds are eaten as a vegetable. Found on street stalls in  Egypt as a snack food the pulp is also roasted with sugar and served as a cold summer drink…

It can also be used as a spice…

In Niger, a common drink called Torridite Glacee is made from the fruit…

As the video shows the nut is extremely hard if not impossible without the correct tools to access how they get the outer cover off to make molasses I don’t know…Once inside the nut is also rock hard, and has been described as “vegetable ivory”. Apparently, there once was a factory set up to make buttons from it, in the days before plastic took over the world.

Nutritionally, doum fruit is an excellent source of carbohydrates and fibre. Additionally, micronutrients such as vitamins (especially B vitamins) usually dried doum fruits are chopped to make a drink…that has a unique taste, flavour and health benefits it has long been used in natural medicines…

Once the Doum Palm was considered a sacred tree and symbolised male strength and virility.   In fact, the fruit of this tree was of such importance that eight baskets full of dried doum fruit were discovered in Tutankhamun’s tomb, left to provide him with sustenance in the afterlife.

Once found in every backyard the fruit is now considered more of a rarity…

Thank you for popping by I hope you enjoyed learning about this rare fruit see you tomorrow for Saturday Snippets always a popular post…xx

 

 

 

In my Kitchen…Starting at the beginning…Feeding Baby…

As you know I cook almost everything from scratch…my children and grandchildren are not babies anymore they eat the same as the family eats…As you know on Wednesday I published my Environmental A-Z…It was the letter L…One of the topics was LEAD…These toxic metals can harm neurological development and are linked to autism and ADHD in children.

I was absolutely horrified to discover that after all the warnings over the last 10 years or more about lead and the effect that even a small amount can have on a developing brain…those precious brains of our children and grandchildren…it can still be found in processed baby foods…

I know that family units have broken down in many cultures now and good eating habits are not passed down…Like my mother passed them down to me…

 

However…baby food is one of the simplest of foods to make …making our own baby food doesn’t require special ingredients many of the ingredients we either buy regularly or grow or have in our store cupboard those tiny meals can be cooked in 15 minutes much of the time…It does however mean that we monitor the sugar and salt and can be sure that our precious children are not being fed lead…

For the first few months baby if mum is able should be happy being breastfed if not there are some very good brands of formula milk…

Before feeding, solids baby should be able to sit up and take the food off a spoon…

Time to start feeding baby which generally is around 4-6 months…How much will the baby eat? Well much depends on when you introduced food…A baby who has been eating food from about 4 months will be eating more at 6 months than a baby who starts eating food at 6 months.

When you start feeding a baby then feed only one fruit or vegetable at a time this way it is easier to determine whether or not a baby has an adverse reaction to a food..generally by their poo…which is a good indicator.

What to start with?

Avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, squash, eggs, pears, apples, mango, young coconut flesh, apples…All of these can either be mashed or lightly steamed or cooked in water…NEVER add sugar as this starts baby off on the road to only wanting to eat sweetened foods…You will see I mentioned coconut flesh which is fed to babies here in Thailand and around Asia…

A bit about young coconut flesh...Young coconuts, also called immature coconuts, are green or orange on the outside. When you open them, they mostly contain coconut water and are lined with white flesh that looks a bit like jelly. Available everywhere here but it can be bought frozen in a speciality food store.

Here in Thailand…Coconut – a first baby food?

The first solid food eaten by a Thai baby is three spoonfuls of the custard-like flesh of young coconut fed to him or her by a Buddhist priest.

BABY FOOD IDEAS USING COCONUT

  • Add a little coconut milk (or a very little coconut cream) to mashed ripe banana.
  • Mash a baked, peeled sweet potato with 2 fl oz (1/4 cup) coconut milk and a little pinch of ground ginger for an unusual and tasty treat!
  • Use coconut milk to thin pumpkin or butternut squash purees.
  • Cut up fresh sweet potato, pumpkin or butternut squash into 1-inch pieces, place them into an oven-proof dish and pour coconut milk over the top. Bake for around 30 mins (until tender), then mash and serve!
  • Use coconut water to cook rice it adds a very subtle coconut flavour.
  • Add a little coconut milk or cream to cooked oatmeal for babies an exotic breakfast treat.
  • Use coconut milk in smoothies.
  • Instead of simmering veggies in water, try simmering them in coconut milk instead!
  • Poach a boneless piece of white fish in coconut milk!
  • For older babies, add freshly grated coconut to cooked rice.

This is an example of how coconut is used to feed young children here…The soft jelly in a young coconut is easy to digest and has many nutrients…

Baby Porridge is also a good one to start with…I used to blitz my normal oats and then using a ratio of 1:3 you can make any amount…for example, 1 tbsp oats to 3 tbsp milk, milk formula, expressed breast milk then just heat and cook for a few minutes in a small saucepan and it is ready…you can serve just plain or add some fruit puree, mashed banana, apple puree or grated apple, pear, blueberry, a touch of cinnamon…

My youngest son absolutely loved carrots I used to steam them and then mash with a little unsalted butter and he would happily eat them for every meal I’m surprised he didn’t turn orange…lol

Lily’s favourite was broccoli just as it was… like in the header picture she just and still does love broccoli…

Don’t forget when your baby first starts eating solid food freeze it in small pots or large ice cube trays just take it out and thaw as required.

Once the baby reaches about 8 months it is time to start combining foods. Raw ripe fruit or lightly steamed vegetables can be offered as children love to eat with their hands at that age maybe make a small dip like a fruit puree so they can dunk…they will only need guidance a few times and they will do it themselves it will be messy but to me, there is nothing nicer than seeing a baby enjoy a piece of fruit or vegetable however messy they get. That happy look on their faces is priceless…

You can start offering fish lightly poached in milk with some vegetables like broccoli or leeks maybe some chicken or turkey again poached and mashed with some vegetables…Even tofu if you are bringing your baby up to follow a vegetarian diet…

Just be careful if you are giving bread or toast as it can get clumped together and cause a baby to choke…Always watch them at all times never leave them alone with food…especially bread…mine used to love eggy bread…

If you start baby on the right food as soon as they are ready to eat you will not have fussy kids…They will eat what you eat…Even here…the home of spicy food …Babies are started with vegetables and fruit, eggs and soft coconut flesh, then chicken or fish and rice…

Chillies are not introduced until they are about 3 or 4 and then only in small amounts …Our granddaughter is 9 now and eats everything we eat even the chillies she will eat quite spicy if it is a Thai beef salad which she loves…

Feeding babies what we eat from the get-go means we don’t get fussy kids…It always worked for me…Fussy kids turn into fussy adults…

That’s all for today if you are expecting or have a young baby then I hope these tips will help guide you to ensure your baby starts off and continues to eat well throughout their life…

Say no to lead,cadmium, mercury, sugar and salt in processed baby foods and eliminate all of it from your babies diet by making your own baby food…

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a lovely week, stay safe  xx